Elder Scrolls Online developer hints at possible Tales of Tribute card game

In the new chapter of The Elder Scrolls Online, High Isle, players can play the Tales of Tribute card game for hours. ESO’s Creative Director, Rich Lambert, revealed the thought process behind the all-new activity, and whether it will be a standalone title.

One of the many new features in the final chapter in The Elder Scrolls Online story, ESO High Isle, is Tales of Tribute; a Hearthstone-esque card game that offers a welcome respite from trolling through dungeons and tearing up your enemies.

In the warmth of the tavern, players can challenge each other to entertaining duels using a variety of pre-determined decks to grab the crown (pun fully intended).

However, it turns out that this fun sideline has long been on the map (which was the intention), as ESO’s creative director, Rich LambertDexerto took a deep dive into the development process behind Tales of Tribute from The Elder Scrolls Online.

the elder scrolls online eso high isle tales of tribute card game
ZeniMax Online Studios

Tales of Tribute is ESO’s equivalent of Blizzard’s Hearthstone & CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher.

ESO developer discusses the process behind Tales of Tribute

While optional card games and MMORPGs seem to go hand in hand, it turns out that Tales of Tribute has been in the works for quite some time.

“It’s something we’ve always wanted to do,” explains Lambert. “I remember throwing ‘tavern games’ back in 2009, when we were way back in pre-production. It’s an alternative activity, something that brings the world to life and gives you something to do when you’re not searching or killing or tinkering.”

“It also helps that I’m a bit of a card geek,” he confesses. “I like card games and playing card games. It just seemed natural to me and the team to do something like that.”

elder scrolls online eso high isle stories of tribute players playing in a tavern
ZeniMax Online Studios

Tales of Tribute is a game that brings together even the most unlikely of heroes.

Given how organic Tales of Tribute fits into the Elder Scrolls Online universe, it makes sense to develop it into its own minigame in the vein of The Witcher’s Gwent, or even Hearthstone.

“I mean, I’d be lying if I said I’d never thought about that before,” he laughs. “Our focus is now let’s make it the best we can in ESO, see what players think, and then move on. We’re very aware that players will understand this and go ‘I want a standalone version, I want a physical version’, and we’ll see where it goes after we launch it.

Speaking of a physical version, transforming Tales of Tribute into a game that players can play outside of the virtual sphere makes perfect sense, according to Lambert.

“The game is built to be a physical thing in the world – it looks and feels like a game the average person could play. Not much magic, not much finicky pieces; just bring your cards and a few tokens, put them on a table and start playing. That was the whole intent and purpose behind this system.”

Whether we’ll see Tales of Tribute blossom into its own full universe remains to be seen, but Lambert clearly has high hopes for this innovative take on the classic MMO card game. Anyway; we can’t wait to dive in and live out our tavern fantasies – with the occasional beer, of course.

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